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Who should the USA start vs. Trinidad & Tobago?

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The U.S. men's national team will face Trinidad & Tobago on Wednesday night in a World Cup qualifier it desperately needs a result from in order to stay in good shape in the super-tight CONCACAF qualifying race.

Who will start in this all-important match? U.S. head coach Bob Bradley has plenty of options to choose from, both in defense and in the midfield. Does he stick with the same midfield that started vs. El Salvador on Saturday? Does he give Jonathan Bornstein another look at left back? Does he give Jonathan Spector another start, or does he turn to veteran Steve Cherundolo at right back.

Here is the lineup we could see Bradley using for Wednesday's qualifier in Port of Spain:






If the above lineup looks familiar, yes, it is the same one in the above photo and the same one that beat Spain in the Confederations Cup. It hasn't been used since.

So why this group? While Benny Feilhaber did relatively well vs. El Salvador, I can see Bob Bradley wanting to control the middle of the field and limit the service the T&T midfield provides, which would mean going with Clark to partner with Michael Bradley. If Davies can't recover from his calf injury I think we would be more likely to see Dempsey up top than Brian Ching, with Holden getting a look.

Defensively, Bradley could go with Spector at left back and Cherundolo at right back, especially if Jay DeMerit can't go, but if DeMerit can start, look for Bocanegra to get the nod on the left. Even though he had his struggles vs. El Salvador, Spector stays in ahead of Cherundolo for his impeccable service, which should have produced a few goals on Saturday. And no, I can't really see Jonathan Bornstein starting vs. T&T, but stranger things have happened.


What lineup would you like to see on Wednesday? Which lineup do you think Bradley will go with? Which player are you praying gets a start vs. Trinidad & Tobago? Which player are you hoping stays on the bench?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. I don’t totally get the Feilhaber love. He absolutely disappeared the second half. He had a good not great 1st half against El Salvador.

    I KNOW he is capable of more but didn’t really ‘wow’ anyone and scoring a couple of goals in the Danish league isn’t ‘wow’ material either.

    I think Ive’s decision to trot out the lineup that pants the best team in the world at the time (Spain) seems to be a pretty logical and hard to bet against one.

  2. People who think Dempsey should be benched are just wrong. He is our biggest offensive threat, period. That doesn’t mean he will score the most goals, rather an overall threat for finishing and springing others to score. If he is left on the bench, it would be a huge mistake.

  3. @EmorySoccer:

    I agree there is definitely the possibility for bias. But I suppose that is always the chance you take with human referees. One thing which does kinda bug me is how often we get Spanish-speaking officials when we play Spanish-speaking nations. Guess that’s just the nature of CONCACAF though. Which makes Landon’s Spanish skills a definite asset.

    Side note: what ever happened to that Guatemalan ref with the mustache? I always thought he was the best official CONCACAF had to offer, and he seems to have disappeared.

  4. @Brent McD:

    Thanks, brotha.

    And I know this has probably been posted/addressed in some format before on here/other blogs, but has the issue of referee nationality impropriety ever been addressed in an official capacity? i mean, at this stage in qualifying, would it be too difficult to have officiating crews from countries that are already out of the WC qualifying process referee late stage games exclusively?

    i imagine most posters on here have played soccer in some capacity in their lives and have thus in all likelihood refereed at some point or another. although in theory these referees (and us back in the day as referees ourselves) are supposed to be as impartial as possible, wouldn’t one suppose it’s human nature to perhaps have some form of internalized *slant* against some country that may be in a position to oust your country from the WC?

    i dunno, i just find it hard pressed to believe that all issues of impartiality are pushed aside when conflicts of interest like this arise in these situations.


  5. Forget Clark and Feilhaber!!! Either Holden or Torres. Torres made more of an impact in 5 minutes than Feilhaber did the entire game vs. El Salvador.

  6. ——-Altidore—-Davies——-






    SUB 1: Stu Holden (Great coming of the bench)
    SUB 2: JF Torres* (He’s got something to prove, great upside)
    SUB 3: Marshall (Solid Defensive Sub)
    Other Note: Time to give Findley and/or Kenny Cooper (if he were not in Germany) a chance to experiment with new offensive blood outside of Altidore and Davies. Ching is too flat as a sub and Casey is good in the MLS and too old.


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